Archibald McIntyre to MVB, [c14 March 1820]
State of New-York—Comptroller's Office.
I deem it my duty, respectfully to submit, through you, a few observations to the honorable the senate, on the report lately made by the committee of which you are chairman, on the subject of the claims of the late governor of this state, under the act of the last session of the legislature, entitled "an act for the final settlement of the accounts of the late governor of this state." I do this in order to prevent a misunderstanding as to my conduct, the committee having, as I conceive, fallen into some errors.
In the report of the committee to the senate, (page 9,) they say—
"1stly. The comptroller, at the request of your committee, produced a memorandum submitted by him to the joint committee, and which he had received from the chairman of that committee, and which also accompanies this report, in which the rate of premium suggested by him is 12 1-2 per centum. And in his examination he stated to your committee, that that was the best information he had as to the rate of premium, and that he supposed it might be from 10 to 13 per cent."
This statement conveys the idea, that I had inquired as to the rate of premium, and that upon such inquiry, I found, and supposed it would be from ten to thirteen per cent. whereas I expressly declared, that I knew nothing of the rate last winter, except what the vice president told me.
In page 10, of the report of the committee, they say: That "it appears that the schedule of charges, amounting to $605,156 76, mentioned in the correspondence communicated to the legislature, has never been presented to the comptroller by the late governor, as a claim upon the state, and that the comptroller denies that he had ever represented that it had been so presented."
It is true, that I have said that the late governor did not claim this amount of $605,156 76, under the act of the last session, and that I have denied ever having represented him as making such a claim under the act. But, lest by this paragraph of the report of the committee, I should be understood as saying the late governor never presented such claims against the state, I must be permitted to declare, explicitly, that I never made such a declaration. I could not, knowing, as I did, and having the evidence in my possession, that he had exhibited against this state, last winter, to the commissioners, Messrs. Colden and Bogardus, not only the said amount of claims, but also others in addition, which, altogether, amounted to one million and six thousand seven hundred and fifty-eight dollars, twenty-three cents."
In page 11, of your report, you say that the late governor, in August last, explicitly informed me, "that he did not claim more than 13 per centum upon the sums designated in the accounts herein set forth, and that the balance in his favor should, in no event, exceed $25,000; and that in my letter of 18th August, 1819, I admit that the late governor informed me, in our 'last conversation," that the real premium would not be more than thirteen per centum, and the final balance about $25,000."
This "last conversation" alluded to, you state, was in the presence of Mr. Betts—and I am sure that the late governor never said one word to me to intimate that the premium claimed would be less than 25 per cent, or the amount stated in Mr. Bronson's letter, until that conversation, which was after the negociation between us was entirely broken off, and the late governor was explicitly informed that I could not meet make him the allowance he claimed. And then his remark respecting the 13 per cent was not an offer to receive that sum, but an allegation that the premium, if correctly calculated, would amount to that sum. He always claimed the same premium which was allowed by the United States on their loans; but asserted, in this "last conversation," that I had made a wrong calculation of it. If the late governor intended to take 13 per cent in any event, it is difficult to imagine why he did not fill up the blanks in his account rendered, or why he should have presented me Mr. Bronson's letter, (shewing clearly that the premium was 25 per cent) and declare, when he delivered it to me, that this was the premium he claimed, and not that certified by Prime, Ward & Sands.
You will observe by referring tot he letter of the late governor to me, of the 30th October last, (page 30, of the appendix to the journal of the assembly, of the present session,) that he does not pretend that he ever stated any thing to me on the subject of the 13 per cent except in the presence of Mr. Betts: and I do not observe in the extract of Mr. Betts' letter, in your report, one word of any "offer" to receive 13 per cent.
In the conclusion of the extract of Mr. Betts' letter, he states that the vice president complained that reports were in circulation, as coming from me, that he claimed a large sum under the act, over and above the balance against him, and that I denied I "had ever countenanced such reports, or that I had made or authorised any statement on the subject."
I cannot pretend to recollect all that was said in the presence of Mr. Betts; but if by the above he means to be understood that I admitted that the vice president never had, in point of fact, made such a demand, he has certainly misunderstood me. If he means only that I said that any reports which were circulated at that time, on the subject of the vice president's demands, had not been authorised by me, he is possibly correct.
On the subject of the nature of the loans which the vice president had made for the use of the United States, I will remark, that I have always been under the impression, that the vice president represented that some of the loans were not made on a deposit of treasury notes. Notwithstanding the schedule or account in your report might have been presented to the joint committee, it is very evident that little attention was paid to it, as not one of the committee is now able to identify the paper, and the paper itself does not show, that all the loans were made on a deposit of treasury notes, as it speaks of some of them as being "to be remitted" to the vice president by the United States, and of others as being "on hand to be deposited." That the joint committee had no definite idea as to the nature of these loans, is evident from their statements.
Mr. King "does not remember whether there was a deposit of treasury notes in all cases."
Mr. Ross "understood the loans to have been effected upon the deposit of treasury notes, and personal security, but the respective amounts of each he does not remember."
Mr Bacon (in his letter to me, contained in the appendix to my last letter to the vice president) says, that "he has no distinct idea whether the vice president represented that he had obtained the loans on his personal responsibility only, or upon a pledge of treasury notes or other public securities, or whether partly in one mode and partly in the other."
And Mr. Davis, chairman of the committee, in his letter in the same appendix, also states, that he was satisfied from the reports of Messrs. Colden and Bogardus, that it was represented that there were two descriptions of loans.
That the vice president did represent to the commissioners, (Colden and Bogardus,) that there were two descriptions of loans, is certain: for they expressly say, in the extract which you have given in your report, (page 3) that the vice president borrowed this money on his personal responsibility, "with the assurance, in some instances," of a deposit of treasury notes.
That the vice president made the same representation to his council, is equally certain; for if you will refer to the case which he laid before them, you will find that he expressly says, that "some of the monies were borrowed on his note endorsed by friends."
And that the vice president made the same representation to the public, is equally certain: for if you will refer to his last letter to me, (appendix to the assembly journal of the present session, page 30,) you will find the following sentence:
"The legislature directed an allowance to me, of the usual discount on the monies borrowed by me on my personal responsibility; you say that they did not mean to allow me that discount on those loans that were made by me, and the evidence of which was presented to the commissioners, the joint committee and to you, and which were the only loans I had made, because in making some of these loans, I deposited treasury notes," &c.
You will see, sir, from these circumstances, that I had good ground for believing that the vice president intended to represent, that a part of the money on which he claimed the premium, was borrowed without the pledge of treasury notes, and on his personal responsibility alone.
I have thought it proper respectfully to make the foregoing suggestions, as to some points in your report, because I think them necessary to guard against erroneous inferences, and I trust you will do me the justice to communicate them to the hon. the senate.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, sir, your most obedient servant,
ARCHD. M'INTYRE, Comptroller.